Survey Response: Pam Benison, MA
This survey was last updated in March 2012.
Degrees/Licenses Held: Master's degree from the University of Denver, Certified Gestalt Therapist, Fellow in the American Psychotherapy Association
7950 So. Lincoln St., #100
Littleton, Co. 80122
1625 Larimer St., #2704
Denver, Co. 80202
Number of years in practice: 32
Number of years in practice with patients who have TMS: 18
Number of patients you have seen who have had TMS:
When I first started doing mindbody therapy with patients, I did not use John Sarno's approach. Rather, my technique was to teach meditation and Jin Shin Jyutsu acupressure, and to release conflictual feelings through gestalt psychotherapy. I was working regularly with cancer patients and getting very good results. More recently, I have been working with a urologist in Denver who specializes in pelvic pain. When I work with pelvic pain patients, I have been using Howard Schubiner's workbook and watching pain melt away when the buried emotions, adult stresses, and helplessness can be discussed and understood to be a mindbody syndrome. I am extremely confident that pain can leave the body through this approach.
What is your association to the TMS community? I was introduced to your community through my conversations with Howard Schubiner.
How did you first become interested in TMS?
I have always been interested in mindbody therapy, the body has demonstrated to me that it will take over to "speak" through pain and dis-ease when words, and, conscious awareness are repressed. However, last year I became passionate about chronic pain as one of my male patients committed suicide because he could not stand the pain associated with degenerative disc disease. It was then that I found Howard Schubiner. I am grateful to him for answering my questions and encouraging me in my studies with TMS.
Have you ever suffered from TMS?
Yes. When I was 44, I was standing at a soccer game watching my son play. Suddenly, I noticed low back pain. I was lucky because I found John Sarno's book, read it, and managed my pain for years with his advice. My pain would come and go, many of my strong feelings were repressed. It wasn't until I made necessary changes in my life (12 years later) that all my pain disappeared for good. I have been pain free for 5 years.
Are you able to conduct therapy sessions over the phone? I can conduct sessions on Skype or by phone.
What insurance plans do you currently accept? none
Do you have a sliding scale of payment for people who are not covered by insurance? yes
Have you published any materials related to TMS? No. My preferred modality is individual psychotherapy and teaching classes about how to release TMS.
Which mind-body medicine books do you find yourself recommending most frequently to patients? In particular, do you feel comfortable referring people to Dr. Sarno's books?
Absolutely! I recommend all of Dr. Sarno's books. I taught a class using Howard Schubiner's book "Unlearn Your Pain" last May. I also recommend Steve Ozanich's book, The Great Pain Deception.
What have you done to educate yourself about TMS, and what plans do you have for further education about TMS?
I plan to study with Howard Schubiner through email and phone conversations. I will be putting the work into my own "mindbody"--at present through gratitude prayers, meditation, dance, acupressure, loving relationships. I also will be staying abreast with information on your website.
As we are going to post your answers on the TMS Wiki, feel free to write some text to introduce yourself:
In my 32 years of private psychotherapy practice, I have been looking for powerful antidotes to emotional and physical pain. The bod demand for an integrated truth is essential. Even though the mind may try to guard us from old hurts and current stresses, the body will demand the truth before it can relax. I help others find their "truth" by releasing fear and making necessary changes in their lives.
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